Following a (re?) tweet from, err, someone, last Friday regarding searching Google for, err, something like fast track degree site:ac.uk, I stumbled across this (on a search for "cheap" site:.ac.uk)
(Spot the “privacy leak” on that screenshot…)
There then followed a series of IT baiting tweets trying to find inappropriate content across site:ac.uk and site:gov.uk websites;-)
PS you may also like to try searching for things like:
- "confidential" "internal use only" filetype:pdf
- overspend filetype:xls site:gov.uk
- intitle:viagra intitle:buy site:ac.uk
and so on…
PPS see also: Whose Investor Relations Sites Do Thomson Reuters Host? A Form of URL Hacking…
6 thoughts on “Googling Nasties and Oopses on University and Public Sector Websites”
Um, is it really ethical to post that information?
@james there a was a bit of a Twitter debate today around the dumping of Windows training for teaching programming in UK skills, all wrapped up in confused rhetoric about digital literacy, or digital skills, or something… I’m just posting what’s bleedin’ obvious to anyone who knows how to use a search engine…
When you do a search like this to look for things that need fixing, use Google’s time restriction features to ensure you only see fresh results – they are bad at removing stale results for compromises that have since been cleaned up.
@Tony Yes, that’s a good point… but the fact that the pages are still indexed means that maybe a visit is needed to Google Webmaster Central to put in a removal request (which can be made against cached copies too… http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1663691 )
That said, for journalists and other investigators looking for smoking gun remnants of documents that were posted and have maybe since been removed from live sites, knowing how to make effective use of Google cache results is an important skill…;-) [I’ll leave a discussion about the ethics of rummaging in search engine caches for another day;-)]
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